"Closer Readings" Blog Posts

“Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now” at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery

Silhouette drawing of a slave named Flora
The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery exhibition titled “Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now” is the first major exhibition to trace the development of the silhouette as an art form.Read More »

Truth and Memory in the Mississippi Delta: What the Emmett Till Case Means Today

Panelists Alvin Sykes, Wheeler Parker, and Jerry Mitchell
Rolando Herts, PhD, Director, The Delta Center for Culture and Learning, Delta State University, Cleveland, MississippiOn the same day when the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other national media outlets announced the reopening of the Emmett Till case, 36 K-12 educators from across the country were gathered for a panel discussion in the Tallahatchie County Courthouse, where the Till murder trial took place in 1955.Read More »

Student Interactives for U.S. History: Revolution to Reconstruction

Missouri Compromise Map
Do your students get more out of classroom time if you incorporate interactives? EDSITEment’s lesson plans are rich in the engaging student activities that can be used in a variety of contexts. Try the interactive maps, timelines—and more—below!American War for Independence: Interactive MapInteractive map of the campaigns of the American Revolution in the northern colonies.Read More »

Walking with Thoreau on Cape Cod

Corn Hill Beach, Truro, Massachusetts.
Most persons visit the seaside in warm weather…but I suspect fall is the best season…In October, when the landscape wears its autumnal tints,…that I am convinced is the best time to visit this shore…the thoughtful days begin, and we can walk anywhere with profit.—Henry David Thoreau, Cape Cod  Read More »

Celebrate the Bicentennial of Frederick Douglass this year

Portrait of Frederick Douglass against fireworks background
On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” to the Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester, New York. In this blistering address, considered one of the most significant works of oratory of the 19th century, Douglass referred pointedly to the distance between the lofty ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the reality of American slaveholding and exposed the hypocrisy of celebrating independence when millions of Americans remained in bondage.Read More »